The Employees

A workplace novel of the 22nd century

Paperback, 125 pages

Published Sept. 20, 2020 by Lolli Editions.

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4 stars (1 review)

Funny and doom-drenched, The Employees chronicles the fate of the Six-Thousand Ship. The human and humanoid crew members alike complain about their daily tasks in a series of staff reports and memos. When the ship takes on a number of strange objects from the planet New Discovery, the crew become strangely and deeply attached to them, and start aching for the same things—warmth and intimacy, loved ones who have passed, shopping and child-rearing, and faraway Earth, which now only persists in memory—even as tensions boil toward mutiny, especially among the humanoids.

Olga Ravn’s prose is chilling, crackling, exhilarating, and foreboding. The Employees probes into what makes us human, while delivering a hilariously stinging critique of life governed by the logic of productivity.

3 editions

Beautiful and Intractible

4 stars

I feel as though once I've gone through more therapy I'll understand better what this book is an allegory for. For now, it's an unbound allegory. I picked up this book expecting a space opera and got something much more akin to poetry. I don't despise the book for that. In fact, I have a kind of fondness for it. But I think I will one day have to revisit it and be more prepared for poetry when I do.